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Alberta Orchard Wineries to Visit

By Allison Bench

When you think of wineries in Canada, you probably think of British Columbia and Ontario. But you may be surprised there’s a growing scene in Alberta. Producers are creating incredible wines and mead all around the province from fruit, honey and botanicals—inviting road-trippers (with a designated driver) to stop by for a tour or tasting.

Field Stone Fruit Wines

The first-ever estate winery in Alberta, Field Stone Fruit Wines opened in 2005 and produces 100% Alberta-grown products from raspberries, strawberries, wild black cherries, black currants, red cherries and saskatoon berries. Located 40 minutes east of Calgary, they call their wines “summer in a bottle”—and it’s worth a visit! The winery is open to visitors on Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summers (until the end of August), or by appointment via email. Field Stone also offers UPick raspberries in the fall, depending on how the growing season goes.

Barr Estate Winery

Just 10 minutes from Edmonton’s city limits is the Barr Estate Winery, which offers prebooked tours every day of the week except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. A family-run working sheep and fruit farm, guests can explore the grounds and stroll through the fields of fruit. With only four wines on their roster, Barr Estate has spent years perfecting the process and recipe for each. Barr Estate also occasionally offers UPick fruit selections in the fall; contact them directly for details.

Always have a designated driver when visiting a winery or on any other occasion where you plan to consume alcoholic beverages.

Shady Orchard & Winery

East of High Prairie in Alberta’s north is Shady Orchard & Winery, a small winery that bases all its recipes off “Grandma’s Recipes”—drawing inspiration from a prized family pie. With pear, plum and chokecherry wines among some of their offerings, Shady Orchard also creates a variety of fruit syrups so that the whole family can enjoy all of its offerings. The winery also offers seasonal UPick and is open Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Spirit Hills Winery

Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains southwest of Calgary, Spirit Hills Winery promises a tour that will give you those feelings of being in a traditional European wine cellar—but with Western Canadian influences. Their wine offerings also embrace the flora of Alberta—with Dande, which includes dandelion flower petals, and Wild Rosy, which is made from wildflower honey and wild rose flower petals. The winery is open year-round for prebooked tours and tastings from Wednesday to Sunday in summer and from Wednesday to Saturday in the cold season (November to March).

DNA Gardens / Delidais Estate Winery

Saskatoon berry lovers should pay close attention to this winery. DNA Gardens and its winery, Delidais Estate, is nestled southeast of Red Deer near the village of Elnora, where 19 varieties of saskatoons are growing on the 20-acre farm. But while the Farm Boy Saskatoon wine is one of their staples, the winery also puts out an apple, cherry, rhubarb, and chokecherry wine (among other varieties, including a few spirits). DNA Gardens invites visitors to come and experience all their farm has to offer—and along with prebooked wine tours, long table dinners, and high tea, it also provides four self-guided walks to learn more about the history and wildlife of the farm. You can even make an evening of it and camp on-site at the orchard.

Grey Owl Meadery

A half-hour south of Drayton Valley in central Alberta, Grey Owl Meadery focuses on honey-based wine (mead), using clover and wildflower honey combined with Alberta-grown fruits (although they also offer fruit-only based wines and spirits.) Along with tastings, the meadery also offers a selection of charcuterie platters for sharing while you sip and is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11 to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.